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Central Asia: new opportunities for collaborative work

“The green” agenda will be one of the key drivers of Central Asia’s economic policy in the foreseeable future. Today there is an intensification of interaction between the countries of the region in “green” development both at the political and expert levels.

Meanwhile, the process of decarbonization touches upon important issues of expanding the use of alternative energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from traditional industries, and developing energy efficiency and energy saving. Therefore, it is necessary to expand opportunities for cooperation of Central Asian countries in this direction. However, favorable conditions should be provided in each state for effective implementation of decarbonization.

First, it is a specialized legal and regulatory framework and conceptual support. In general, it should be aimed at incentivizing green and disincentivizing brown industries, as well as tightening regulation to reduce emissions.

Second, green finance. The main condition for the implementation of sustainable financing by banks is the attraction of green funding and other incentives. This can be realized through different mechanisms: attracting green funding from international institutions, issuing green bonds, interest rate subsidies from the government, etc. The main condition for the implementation of sustainable financing by banks is the attraction of green funding and other benefits.

Third, technological modernization. The basis of the country’s decarbonization policy should be technological modernization based on the expansion of alternative energy and the use of digital technologies in basic industries. It is also important to introduce modern technologies aimed at improving energy efficiency in various sectors of the economy, such as industry, transport and the housing and utilities sector.

Kazakhstan is already focusing its economy on consistent decarbonization and is creating the necessary conditions for this.

Thus, in February this year, the Strategy for achieving carbon neutrality of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2060 was developed and approved as part of the implementation of the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The country has developed and launched a number of key elements of the national infrastructure for decarbonization: a system of trading in greenhouse gas emission quotas has been created, auctions for the selection of renewable energy generation projects have been organized, and a taxonomy of green projects has been approved.

Kazakh enterprises are also given the opportunity to modernize production through full exemption from environmental payments. In turn, from January of this year, large industrial enterprises are required to install automated emission monitoring systems.

Actions taken to reduce the carbon intensity of the country’s economy and prevent economic losses include the convergence of the national emissions trading system with the European one.

In this way, positive experience is already being gained in the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy in Kazakhstan. Overall, decarbonization will not only reduce the negative impact on the environment, but will also contribute to the development of new technological industries and sectors of the economy.

However, the transition to a green economy and the introduction of RES will require significant investments. In this regard, cooperation between the states of the region is necessary for a more efficient and consistent introduction of new technologies.

The most demanded tracks of integration of Central Asian countries are: joint work to ensure a common favorable business climate and increase attractiveness for investors, organization of mutual electricity supply and rational use of water resources, as well as digitalization of economic sectors for the competitiveness of goods in the region.

In addition, new mechanisms and instruments of cooperation in transboundary river basins are required to address water use issues. It is necessary to develop political and legal measures to regulate water and energy relations, taking into account the interests of each party.

Alisher Tastenov,

Chief Expert of KazISS under the President of the RK